World-Class Print Operations Require a Sound Data Security Strategy

By Joe Morrison, President, IWCO Direct

Joe Morrison, President, IWCO Direct

It’s hard to imagine a time in which the protection of data within the print and mail industry wasn’t considered to be of the utmost importance. Data is the driving force making direct mail and cross-channel campaigns relevant to consumers and more effective for marketers, with marketers demanding assurance that their customer data is secure. But a decade ago, some within the industry wouldn’t list security at the top of their list of business requirements. If the only information you have is customer names and addresses, how important can security be? After all, that information can be found in a phone book. The answer is very important.

In recent years, the industry realized that regardless of the sensitivity of the information we handle, the protection of customer data is a matter of brand integrity. It doesn’t matter what kind of data customers provide us, whether it be personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or financial data, companies are focused on regulatory and compliance efforts as they relate to print and mail issues. However, these efforts generate an enormous amount of work and cost.

It’s clear that the print industry needs to be serious about security and compliance, but where do you start when developing your security practice? If you handle health information, you must consider the Health Insurance Portability and  Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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